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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Work for Fun

While driving home from work, I thought about something I read on Sareet’s blog. She wondered about what it would be like to go to work doing what one enjoyed and was good at doing. Most of us are not that lucky. Many of us are stuck at jobs where we are neither happy nor fulfilled. So few are fortunate enough to be working jobs they enjoy, doing things they are happy doing, and getting paid to indulge in their passions.

I’m not belittling those people with good jobs who find satisfaction in their day to day work routines. Nor am I scrutinizing those who work hard to accomplish what they have in their professional lives. All I am saying is there are very few who wake up every morning energized by the thought of heading to work. Very few who dread the end of the workweek and look forward to the end of weekends. Very few who find that their work makes up a large part of what is good and fun and exciting about their lives.

Many of us do what we do because we “need the money”, “need to the security”, “need to be a part of something”, or are “obligated to”. It’s true – reality harshly dictates our decisions. And sadly, if there are few who really enjoy what they do, even less have the luxury of giving in to doing what makes them happy and what they are truly good at doing.

But on the other hand, my dad always says what’s important in a career is enjoying what you do – salary, benefits, the commute, the prestige of the company, your title, all of that is secondary. Life is too short to be unhappy and stressed. I guess the bottom line is finding a compromise of doing what makes you happy and can at least provide you with what you need to survive.

I thought about what it is I enjoy doing to see if I could potentially find a career choice in one or some of them. Here’s my list of things I like to do and would be excited doing every day (or at least most days):

1.) reading
2.) eating / trying new places to eat
3.) playing with kids
4.) shopping for books, shoes, food and housewares
5.) entertaining
6.) talking
7.) writing (blogging)
8.) surfing the net
9.) watching lifestyle shows and movies
11.) staying in hotels
12.) sleeping in

Based on my list, I’ve combined a couple of my favorite pastimes and these are potentially some careers I can enjoy:

1.) pre-school teacher
2.) restaurant, book, movie critic
buyer for a lifestyle store or a specialty food store (like Crate and Barrel, Dean and Delucca, Pottery Barn, Trader Joes, etc.)
tour guide
travel or entertainment writer for a publication

With these career choices, I’ve pretty much covered all the things I enjoy and am good at doing – all except for “sleeping in”. Somehow I can’t seem to think of a career that would pay me to do that!


Leslie Ty said...

Hi Jo!

Those are really fun careers! :) I really think you can have all those careers at the same time...imagine , you're a pre-school teacher in the morning (MON-FRI only), in the afternoons you can try different restaurants or watch movies that you can write about, on can travel or be a tour guide! :)

What do you think? :)

jol said...

While it is true that enjoying your work is the most important; it is equally true that you can turn an unhappy career to one that is fulfilling. I hated what I was made to do early in my job but something happened and with the blessings of the Lord, I started to enjoy my work. No vacations for the next 32 years for me.